Today, in order to live well and safely, it is necessary to have dominance in the third dimension, or at least not to yield to others here. The basis of this is the ability to deliver, in the shortest possible time and to the right place, warheads, weapons, manpower, and in peacetime to ensure the free movement of the population, goods and cargo both within the country and abroad. This is achieved with the help of the military aviation, space rocket, aerospace systems and civil aviation.
This is well understood in the USA, Great Britain, European states, and the PRC. In the leadership of Russia, there is a complete understanding of the importance of the first two components and a clearly insufficient awareness of the significance of the two latter. Let us dwell in more detail on the advantages of aerospace systems.
From the territory of Russia we cannot launch satellites into space with any orbital inclination we need. This is predetermined by the geographical location of the country. Let me remind you that the inclination of the orbit of a satellite of the Earth is the angle defined by the planes, one of which contains this orbit, and the other - the equator. It is impossible to immediately set the satellite inclination less than the latitude from which the launch is made. Even the Eastern Cosmodrome will not help here. The most southerly point of the RF is 41 ° 11's. sh. And one of the most important for the practical application of the orbits is the geostationary, passing in the equatorial plane of the Earth (0 ° latitude). The change in inclination is a very energy-consuming maneuver. So, for low-orbit satellites having an orbital speed of the order of 8 kilometers per second, a change in inclination by 45 degrees will require approximately the same energy (speed increments) as for launching into orbit - about 8 kilometers per second. For comparison: the energy capabilities of the Space Shuttle allowed for full use of onboard fuel (about 22 tons: 8174 kg of fuel and 13 486 kg of oxidizer in orbital maneuvering engines) to change the value of orbital speed of only 300 meters per second, respectively maneuver in a low circular orbit) - approximately two degrees. When launching geostationary satellites from high-latitude cosmodromes (Baikonur, Vostochny), they are initially displayed in a low reference orbit, after which several intermediate, higher ones are sequentially formed. The required energy costs are still quite large.
All this was well known from the very beginning of astronautics.
A carrier aircraft, when solving the problem of launching a satellite into a geostationary orbit, can deliver a second rocket stage to equatorial latitude. At current prices, the gains from using a system with a mobile aviation launch amount to several tens of millions of dollars.
The most important feature of the aerospace system is the efficiency of the task of meeting with another object in orbit. Traditional vertically launched removal vehicles have significant temporary phasing loss. This, I recall, the maneuver of the spacecraft, performed during the approach and docking of two spacecraft. Systems with a mobile aviation launch can reduce the phasing time to the orbital period by maneuvering the aircraft carrier. This, combined with advanced capabilities in the geographical latitude of the launch, provides an effective solution to the tasks of emergency rescue of crews of manned vehicles, inspection of space objects, and rapid replenishment of a low-orbit satellite constellation.
The use of an aircraft carrier allows second-stage launches at a large distance from the home airfield. Thus, when launching 51 ° into orbit, an aerospace complex, starting from Akhtubinsk, Engels or Orenburg, can fly to the Baikonur area and, without landing, launch the second stage along the route of launching missile systems. When basing in the area of Omsk or Novosibirsk, access to this route is carried out only over the territory of Russia.
Another advantage of aerospace systems is that there is no need for expensive space centers, as well as in huge fields (and forests) of alienation, where the poisonous remnants of the first steps fall. To start and land enough airfields, which are already available in LII them. Gromov and Baikonur (created under the landing of "Buran" system "Energy" - "Buran", is still the highest achievement among the world systems of launching into space). It is advisable to build the same lane at the Vostochny cosmodrome.
Taxi is not for everyone
Aerospace systems are actively developing in the United States.
In recent years, Space Ship One and Space Ship Two suborbital aerospace systems have been developed for space tourism. The first has already made several flights. The White Knight Two carrier aircraft with a suborbital Space Ship Two with two pilots also performed a series of test launches in normal mode. Excellent stability and controllability have been demonstrated. Despite the Space ShipT wo disaster in October of 2014, co-owner of the Virgin Galactic company developing a suborbital plane, British billionaire Richard Branson said the company would continue to work.
From 1999, first commissioned by NASA, and then by the US Department of Defense, Boeing has been developing the reusable winged spacecraft X-37В. Launching into orbit is being done by the Atlas-5 rocket (produced by the United Launch alliance, formed jointly by Lockheed and Boeing, and uses a Russian-made RD-180 engine). The first orbital flight ended with a successful landing at the airfield of the US Air Force Base "Vandenberg". Details of the mission, which lasted 469 days, are not disclosed. The device was in orbit inaccessible for observation by Russian means of aerospace defense. Trials continue. X-37B may be the prototype of the future satellite space interceptor. But it is possible that he will be able to deliver rocket-bomb strikes from orbit, while remaining completely invisible to our missile attack warning systems. Some sources claim: the goal of the program is to give the Pentagon weaponwith which it would be possible to deliver quick and accurate non-nuclear strikes on any target on the planet in response to threats to the national security of the United States. "
In December, 2011 in the United States hosted a presentation of the project of the new aerospace transport system Stratolaunch Systems, representing the further development of the concept implemented by designer Bert Rutan in Space Ship One and Space Ship Two. Finances the work of the company Stratolaunch Systems partner B. Gates in the creation of Microsoft Paul Allen. The entire system consists of three components: a carrier from Scaled Composites, which will be the largest in stories by plane, a multistage rocket produced by Space Exploration Technologies and a system from Dynetics, which allows you to safely carry a rocket weighing 222 tons. If everything goes according to plan, then its first launch can take place in the 2016 year. The aircraft is equipped with six engines, which are installed on the "Boeing 747". Take-off weight - tons of tons. Wingspan - 544 meters. Takeoff and landing will require a runway length of 116 kilometers. Stratolaunch Systems is a middle class hatching system, the payload is 3,7 tons. It can be just the device type X-6,1В. In this case, you get a complex with a high degree of reusable use of components, high efficiency and low cost of operation. The carrier aircraft can be used as a transport aircraft, and after completion it can be used as a passenger one.
In November, 2013 began flight tests of the Dream Chaser space taxi. Test flight was generally normal. NASA plans to use mini shuttles to replace astronauts on the ISS. Americans are attracted by the relative cheapness of such a project compared to the use of the Russian "Unions". The ship is designed to deliver cargo to low-Earth orbit and crews of up to seven people. Developed by his American private corporation Sierra Nevada. Three such ships have already been made. It was planned that the space taxi will start to fly to the ISS in 2015. It can be launched from a carrier aircraft for Stratolaunch Systems.
Mriya is a dream again
And what about us?
The development of the aerospace system "Spiral" was launched in 1964-m. It consisted of an orbital plane, which, according to the air launch technology, was to be launched into space by a hypersonic spreader aircraft, developing a speed of up to six Mach (and then a rocket stage into orbit). The latter was supposed to be used as a passenger airliner, which, of course, looked rational: its characteristics would allow raising the speed of civil aviation. The system was developed in the Mikoyan Design Bureau. The chief designer was G. E. Lozino-Lozinsky, later the chief designer of the NPO Molniya, which created the Buran aerospace vehicle. At the 40-th Congress of the International Aviation Federation (FAI), held in 1989, in Malaga (Spain), NASA representatives gave the spreader the highest rating, noting that it was designed in accordance with modern requirements. Compare it with Dream Chaser and, as suggested in the well-known children's game, find ten differences. Launched under the Buran program, the BOR-4 spacecraft was an unmanned experimental vehicle, a reduced copy of the Spiral orbital plane on the 1: 2 scale. Own work on the Spiral (except for BOR analogues) was finally stopped after the start of a large-scale, less technologically risky, seemingly more promising and in many respects repeating the American program of the Space Shuttle of the Energy project - Buran.
About the latter there are plenty of available information. Therefore, without dwelling on it, I will proceed to the next project of G. E. Lozino-Lozinsky - the MAKS multipurpose aerospace system. It was formed as a result of the successive design research carried out under his leadership as the general designer of NPO Molniya, together with related companies, branch research institutes and institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences from the end of 70 to the present. The project received a gold medal and a special prize from the Belgian Prime Minister at 1994 in Brussels at the World Salon of Inventions, Research and Industrial Innovations.
The first stage is the super heavy transport An-1988 Mriya created in 225 under the Energy - Buran program. The second stage can be performed in three versions:
-MAX-OS with orbital plane and disposable tank;
-MAX-M with unmanned aircraft;
-MAX-T with a one-time unmanned second stage and a load of up to 18 tons.
The cost of removing cargo into low near-earth orbit is on the order of 1000 dollars per kilogram. For comparison: the average cost of removal is currently around 12 000 – 15 000, for conversion PH “Dnepr” - 3500 dollars per kilogram The advantage is less toxic fuel (in a three-component RD-701 engine - kerosene / hydrogen + oxygen) there is a great ecological cleanliness.
In versions of MAKS-OS with an orbital plane and a disposable tank, the payload put into low orbit is 7 tons, in MAKS-T - 18 tons. The starting mass of the system is 275 tons.
All possibilities to create an analogue of “Mriya” in Russia are available even without the Antonov ASTC. Such a plane in the transport version could be used as a cargo. This includes solving the issue of delivering Far Eastern fishery products to the central part of the country with freezing during transportation at an altitude of 10 thousands of meters at an outdoor temperature of 50 degrees without any refrigerators, as well as for transporting sea containers from Europe to Asia and back. The entire fuselage, except the cockpit, may be leaky. Such a modified carrier is transformed into PAK DA, which would significantly reduce the cost of its project.
For a long time, we were ahead of the rest of the world in creating multi-purpose aerospace systems. Even the Americans did not conduct as much research and flight tests as they did in the aerospace industry of our country. The collaborators of G. E. Lozino-Lozinsky, who created the Buran with the ISS together with him and under his leadership, are still bearers of invaluable experience. But time is inexorable and every day they are getting smaller. And with them go and our ability to create such systems in the foreseeable future.
Competitors in the meantime do not stand still. Doesn't anything remind you of the French VEHRA aerospace system project based on the A-380 carrier aircraft?
The system "Energy" - "Buran" in its capabilities significantly exceeded the American "Space Shuttle". And it’s not the fault of our scientists, designers, production workers that the former notable assistant to combiner Gorbachev, in order not to upset his comrades in the collapse of the USSR, Mr. Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher, immediately after the first successful launch of Buran, covered this most important aerospace program of the country.
And we have created a unique base for ground and flight tests in both the relevant research institutes and the experimental design bureau of industry, and in the Ministry of Defense. How we manage this inherited site, I will tell you just by one example.
None of the aircraft industry design bureau, and I was at all, could not be compared with NPO Molniya for technical equipment, equipment and bench base. The flight and landing of the Buran required the modeling of a huge range of heights and speeds, heating of the surface when the vehicle entered the dense atmosphere, simultaneous exposure to vacuum, radiation and other factors of outer space. The orbital ship and all its units were tested under conditions that most accurately simulate real ones: from mechanical, thermal or acoustic loads to the effects of radiation from the sun and planets. The experimental base of NPO Molniya allowed all this. Laboratories of static strength, dynamic, tribological, vibroacoustic and thermal vacuum, cryothermic vacuum, climatic and gas-dynamic tests, as well as testing for electromagnetic compatibility and non-destructive testing were created. Listing stands NPO "Lightning" may take more than one page. Colossal, large funds were invested in the project than in the Northern and Southern pipelines. Of course, much has now been ruined, especially in recent years, by a flock of constantly changing “efficient” managers, but much of the booths and laboratories can still be restored and tested on aerospace equipment. For flight studies on the balance of NPO "Lightning" were specially equipped laboratory aircraft, designed and flying into space orbital models and full-size counterparts of "Buran", designed to study numerous flight regimes, including non-motorized descent and landing. Almost all of this unique technique has been sold by successive teams of NGO leaders. But the Lightning itself didn’t hurt anything. But the money only from the sale of the BTS-002, which flew in LII them. M. M. Gromov, the famous "wolf pack" test pilot cosmonaut Igor Wolf, would be enough to more than cover all the artificially organized debts of this enterprise. For some reason, neither the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, the Investigation Committee, nor the FSB were interested in the grounds on which this object, created with state funds, was sold to the Museum of Technology of the City of Speyer (Germany) for 20 million euros. And where did this money evaporate, which did not reach OAO NPO Molniya?
Now the company is in the process of bankruptcy and in its place margarine kings from the Saratov firm “Bouquet” are going to organize a greenhouse of trade and entertainment complexes. This is really a “bouquet” on the grave of the Russian aerospace industry. But maybe, a unique, unparalleled in the world, which at one time cost the country more than one billion dollars in an experimental base for testing airplanes, rockets and spacecraft, is it still useful to someone? Moreover, the money needed to end a bankruptcy is ridiculous compared to its true value.
Under the direction of the same G. E. Lozino-Lozinsky, on the basis of the supersonic MiG-31 interceptor, the chief designer of which he was, in 1998, work was carried out to create an aerospace light-launch system. The MiG-31 is capable of reaching 17 kilometers per hour at altitudes over 3000 kilometers and launching a reusable suborbital machine, orbiter with two cosmonauts, or a satellite weighing about 500 kilograms. In 2000-x, former employees of Deutsche Airbas turned to us with the idea of sending six space tourists on the suborbital plane, similar to Space Ship Two, to the stratosphere with the MiG-31. But in the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation this project was not supported.
Interesting aerospace systems were developed in the ASTC. A. N. Tupolev. These are the Skif projects based on the Tu-22М3 and Burlak carrier aircraft on the Tu-160. However, as soon as they started, these projects, alas, did not receive further development.
From the history of the question
“January 13 The 1962 of the year at the military-scientific conference of the Air Force with the participation of Grechko, Zakharov, Baghramian, Vershinin and Kamanin decided to develop and create:
1. An aerospace plane with an altitude of 60 – 150 kilometers and an orbital space plane with an altitude 1000 – 3000 kilometers;
2. The carrier aircraft for launching spacecraft and air-to-space and space-to-ground missiles from it.
In 1962, Bolkhovitinov argued about the large economic and military advantage of orbital planes over ballistic missiles proved by calculations for action on strategic unobtrusive targets (submarines, strategic missiles in mines, etc.). To defeat each of these targets, instead of nine missiles, only two orbital planes are needed.
A very harmful directive was issued by the Minister of Defense Malinovsky on the division of functions between artillery-rocket forces and the Air Force. A commission was established to transfer facilities from the Air Force to the missile forces.
Malinovsky, Grechko and Zakharov thwarted the possibility of the advantages of the USSR in military space.
There are no collegial decisions in the country. ”